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6 Top PR Ideas For Food Industry

Companies in all industries require public relations (PR). It helps build brand image and increase organizational reputation, which is especially important in the food industry.

Effective PR can help restaurant owners and operators target audiences, reach new customers, and increase business overall. Visibility and exposure are imperative to restaurant success, and there’s no better way to get them at a low cost than with organic PR.

The food industry is highly competitive. In this market, many vendors and customers are both knowledgeable about the quality and price of food, making it difficult to not only stand out from competitors but also convince diners to give your spot a try. Here are six innovative PR ideas to increase your restaurant’s success.

What is the Importance of PR in the Food Industry?

The benefits of PR in the food industry are similar to many others. PR increases brand awareness and reach. It helps you penetrate the market, convert your potential customers into actual consumers, and turn them into loyal, repeat visitors.

When you have good PR, you ideally also have amicable relations with media and journalists. Journalists can help your brand flourish and build a positive image of the restaurant. Developing trusting relationships with the appropriate bloggers and journalists can help you gain media exposure regularly. You’ll likely also have established social media accounts that can help to tease new menu items and pop-up events. All these things work together to make your restaurant a desirable place to dine, day in and day out.

6 PR Ideas That Benefit the Food Industry

Following are some PR ideas that you should consider incorporating into your strategy.

1. Follow the Trends

Food trends come and go at a rapid pace, especially with the rise of food TikTokers. Following trends verbatim isn’t necessary, but you might be able to draw visitors and create buzz by putting your own twist on the food trends of the moment. If your restaurant frequently changes the menu, you will have many opportunities for this type of PR tactic; if not, you can get creative by organizing pop-ups, collaborating with other local food purveyors, or even working with content creators. Still, make sure the bulk of your efforts goes toward maintaining an exceptional core menu.

2. Philanthropic Actions

Cause marketing is one of the most effective PR ideas to implement. Whenever your restaurant associates itself with charitable activities, it will build a socially responsible image in the eyes of the public. Some ideas include donating food and leftovers to shelters, donating a portion of proceeds on a particular day or weekend to a local charity, and donating food and staff hours to fundraising events. Cause marketing tactics tend to result in improved reach and positive public perceptions. It’s a win-win!

3. Work with Famous Bloggers

Blogging has become a profession, and prospective visitors will look to what bloggers say about your restaurant before making a reservation. Especially when traveling, customers search for reviews and photos on search engines and social media platforms before booking, so bloggers and influencers have a significant impact on consumers’ decision-making.

People trust bloggers, and when a top-tier influencer says that your food is of good quality and reasonable price, people will be convinced to give it a try. Consider inviting local bloggers and influencers into your restaurant for a tasting experience or offering them a gift card for date night.

4. Offer Customization

Customization will help you gain a competitive advantage, and when you offer it, you get an edge to charge a little more. In the food industry, customization can look like offering dairy-, gluten- and nut-free alternatives to popular dishes. You might also mark each menu item with any food allergens included. You can also train your staff to make educated recommendations about which dishes a table should order based on their dining preferences. All of these small touches can help customers feel valued and taken care of! These tactics can also be leveraged in traditional PR campaigns, where dining inclusivity can be a great differentiator from your competition.

5. Use Social Media Intelligently

Social media has made restaurant PR easier than in the past. You can connect to a large audience that is invested in your content virtually, from the comfort of your phone, and at any time of the day! You can post about your restaurant’s foods and flavors in different social media groups and directly communicate with customers to answer questions and just chat.

While you’re likely already employing social media, consider creating a monthly content calendar to keep your posting on track and to ensure you don’t miss any major holidays or business milestones. You might also consider selecting an employee to check and respond to DMs daily so your customer service—and overall reputation—remain excellent.

6. AI Services

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a major trend in PR, and there are a few simple ways to layer it into your current restaurant strategy. First, consider setting up an AI phone answering or voice ordering system so your employees can spend more time on other activities, like social media community management. Next, employ AI to develop data-based insights and predictions. These can be applied to your current PR campaigns to understand better who you’re reaching and who you should target next. It might also help you better understand the types of menu items and events your customers want to see.

Next Steps for These PR Ideas

Restaurant owners and operators must be innovative to achieve sustained growth for their restaurants. As discussed, the food industry is highly competitive; therefore, we recommend always being alert and employing the latest and greatest PR ideas whenever you can. For more information on implementing these PR ideas, chat with a PR agency about how to make them work for you.